New Zealand batting legend Martin Crowe dies after battle with cancer

  • AFP, Auckland
  • Updated: Mar 03, 2016 06:56 IST
File photo of f ormer New Zealand cricketer Martin Crowe who died on Thursday, March 3, 2016 at the age of 53. (AFP File Photo )

New Zealand’s greatest batsman Martin Crowe died on Thursday at the age of 53 after a long battle with cancer, his family said.

“It is with heavy hearts that the family of Martin Crowe, MBE, advise his death,” they said in a statement.

“Diagnosed in September 2014 with terminal double-hit lymphoma, he passed away peacefully today, Thursday, March 3, in Auckland surrounded by family.”

Crowe enjoyed a 13-year international career from 1982-95, including four years as captain.

He had a Test average of 45.36 in 77 matches and held a slew of New Zealand batting records when he retired, including most Test runs (5,444), highest Test score (299), most 50s (35) and most hundreds (17) -- the last of which still stands.

In his retirement, Crowe devised a new ultra-short form of the game called Cricket Max for his new employer Sky Television, which was pitched to British officials and helped lay the foundation for the modern Twenty20 revolution.

Former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming hailed Crowe as “one of our true greats”.

“An inspiration to me and so many others,” he tweeted.

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